Karen A. Beauchemin, Ph. D.

Image Karen A, Beauchemin
Research Scientist, Ruminant Nutrition and Environment

Development of nutritional knowledge and technologies for the beef and dairy industries to improve efficiency of production and reduce environmental impact

Current research and/or projects

Development of nutritional knowledge and technologies for the beef and dairy industries to improve efficiency of production and reduce environmental impact

Research and/or project statements

Projects include:

  • Mitigation of enteric methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from ruminants

  • Farm-based life cycle analysis of greenhouse gas emissions from beef and dairy production

  • Improved nitrogen use efficiency of ruminants

  • Improved rumen ecology and fiber utilization

  • Use of feed additives, including exogenous enzymes, yeast and direct fed microbials

  • Reduction of ruminal acidosis in dairy cows and feedlot cattle

  • Physically effective fiber requirements for feedlot cattle and dairy cows

  • Grain digestion and utilization for ruminants

  • Nutritional evaluation of short season corn silage hybrids

Professional activities / interests

Research with beef and dairy cattle

National and international advisory role

Mentorship of students and young researchers



Education and awards


B.Sc. (honours), McGill University, Major in Agriculture 1978

M.Sc. Université Laval, Major in Animal Science 1982

Ph.D.(distinction) University of Guelph 1988

Major in Ruminant Nutrition, minors in Gastrointestinal Physiology and Statistics, Supervisor:  Dr. J. G. Buchanan-Smith

Honours and Awards Held

  • B.Sc. awarded with honours, 1978

  • Ph.D. awarded with distinction, 1988
  • Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) award held during Ph.D.      (1983-88)
  • 1st prize for presentation in CSAS Graduate Student Competition, 1987
  • Canadian Society of Animal Science Young Scientist Award, 1994

  • Travel Scholarship, Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, 2005

  • American Dairy Science Association Pioneer Hi-Bred Forage Award, 2005

  • Gold Harvest Award of Excellence, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2007

  • George B. Caine Foundation Award, Utah State University, 2008

  • Sir Frederick McMaster Fellowship, CSIRO, Australia, 2009 ($28,000 awarded for travel)

  • Canadian Society of Animal Science Excellence in Nutrition and Meat Science Award, 2009

  • American Dairy Science Association, Nutrition Professionals Applied Dairy Nutrition Award, 2010

  • The Bertebos Prize, Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry, 2011

  • Visiting Professorship for Senior International Scientists, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 2011-13

  • Canadian Society of Animal Science Fellowship Award, 2014

International experience and/or work

1995-96   Work Transfer (sabbatical), Danish Institute of Animal Sciences, Foulum,  Denmark (12 months)

2005-06   Work Transfer (sabbatical), Department of Primary Industries – Victoria (Elinbank), Australia (12 months)

Advisory Roles - International

-International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): (2017-2019). Invited contributing author to Chapter 10: Emissions from livestock and manure management, 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, Volume 4, Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use. https://www.ipcc-nggip.iges.or.jp/public/2019rf/vol4.html. This IPCC methodology is used by Environment and Climate Change Canada and other countries to produce their national greenhouse gas inventories.

Invited Member of the Committee on Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Division on Earth and Life Studies, National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.  Nutrient Requirements of Beef Cattle, 8th Revised Edition (2013-16). Committee tasked with revising the NRC publication/model for beef cattle nutrient requirements. Only Canadian member of the 9 person committee. This publication sets the standards for nutrient requirements and is widely considered to be the cornerstone of beef nutrition and is universally used by nutritionists, veterinarians, and feed regulators such as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

European Research Council (2016-17; 2018-19). Advanced Grant LS9 “Applied Life Sciences and Non-Medical Biotechnology” Invited Panel Member. The Advanced Grants represent the highest achievement in science within the EU.  The Panel consists of 12 invited international members and receives 60-120 proposals/year to review.  Successful proposals are awarded 2.5 million euros.

SmartCow (www.smartcow.eu): Invited Scientific Advisor to an EU research consortium (14 research partners, 7 EU countries, 2018-2022). Project designed to optimize the use of European research facilities and multi-disciplinary research across countries to promote efficient use of resources, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving animal welfare and health.

AnimalChange Consortium (http://www.animalchange.eu): Invited scientific advisor to the EU research consortium (9 million Euros, 30 institutes) with representation from research, industry, and policy makers. The goal of the project is to develop greenhouse gas mitigation and adaptation strategies for livestock production in the EU and partnering developing countries.

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): (2010-2015) Consultant on a Coordinated Research Project entitled “The use of enzymes, direct-fed microbials and yeast to improve the efficiency of utilizing fibrous feeds in developing countries and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock", of the Animal Production and Health Section, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture.  Provided advice to participating researchers for 10 research contract holders in developing countries.  

International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): (2009)  Invited member of the 3rd Expert Committee on Data for the IPCC Database on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission Factors (attended meeting June 24-26, Santiago, Chile). The Emission Factor Database is a public database on GHG emission factors with supporting scientific information maintained by the IPCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Program to help the inventory compilers develop better quality national greenhouse gas inventories in a cost-effective way.

Bovine Innovative Greenhouse Gas Solutions (BIGGS) project (2011-13). Invited participant in the Protocol Scientific Adaptation Team, for the Bovine Innovative Greenhouse Gas Solutions (BIGGS) project. The project aims at creating carbon credits generated from various beef and dairy production practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse Gasses in Animal Agriculture Conference (www.GGAA2010.org): Banff, Alberta, Oct. 2010, member of the local organizing committee, program committee, and co-editor of the proceedings.  This is the major international conference for environment-livestock interactions Participated on an organization committee to setup the Greenhouse Gases (GHG) in Animal Agriculture Conference held in Banff, Alberta, Canada in October of 2010.  The conference had over 400 delegates from 36 countries, an attendance that attests to the global research effort that is ongoing in this area.

United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): Invited member of the Expert Panel (2007) to explore development of a Coordinated Research Project on straw digestibility, The Animal Production and Health Section, Plant Breeding and Genetics Section, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture.


Key publications

  1. Henry, B.K., Eckard, R.J., Beauchemin, K.A. (2018). Review: Adaptation of ruminant livestock production systems to climate changes, 12(s2), S445-S456. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1751731118001301

    2018 - View publication details

  2. Pogue, S.J., Kröbel, R., Janzen, H.H., Beauchemin, K.A., Legesse, G., de Souza, D.M., Iravani, M., Selin, C., Byrne, J., McAllister, T.A. (2018). Beef production and ecosystem services in Canada's prairie provinces: A review, 166 152-172. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2018.06.011

    2018 - View publication details

  3. Koenig, K.M., Beauchemin, K.A., McGinn, S.M. (2018). Feeding condensed tannins to mitigate ammonia emissions from beef feedlot cattle fed high-protein finishing diets containing distillers grains, 96(10), 4414-4430. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/sky274

    2018 - View publication details

  4. Koenig, K.M., Beauchemin, K.A. (2018). Effect of feeding condensed tannins in high protein finishing diets containing corn distillers grains on ruminal fermentation, nutrient digestibility, and route of nitrogen excretion in beef cattle, 96(10), 4398-4413. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/sky273

    2018 - View publication details

  5. Guyader, J., Baron, V.S., Beauchemin, K.A. (2018). Corn forage yield and quality for silage in short growing season areas of the canadian prairies, 8(9), http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8090164

    2018 - View publication details

  6. Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture is an important way to mitigate climate change. Diet manipulation influences enteric fermentation and has the potential to reduce GHG emissions; however, few studies have examined the effect of diet composition on GHG emissions after manure is applied to the soil. We conducted a 70-day lab incubation experiment to investigate this knowledge gap and analyze how different manure types affect soil biogeochemical cycling and GHG emissions. We are analyzing the results now and a poster will be prepared and presented at the 21. 21st World Congress of Soil Science in August 2018.

    2018 - View publication details

  7. Moate, P.J., Jacobs, J.L., Hannah, M.C., Morris, G.L., Beauchemin, K.A., Alvarez Hess, P.S., Eckard, R.J., Liu, Z., Rochfort, S., Wales, W.J., Williams, S.R.O. (2018). Adaptation responses in milk fat yield and methane emissions of dairy cows when wheat was included in their diet for 16 weeks, 101(8), 7117-7132. http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-14334

    2018 - View publication details

  8. Jen Owens, Xiying Hao, Ben W. Thomas, Jessica L. Stoeckli, Francis J. Larney, Karen A. Beauchemin, Tim A. McAllister. 2018. Do the effects of dietary greenhouse gas inhibitors persist in beef cattle manure during composting and stockpiling? 2018 Joint Meeting of the CGU-CSSS-CIG-CSAFM-ESSSA. June 10-14, 2018. Niagara Falls, ON. Canada.

    2018 - View publication details

  9. Beauchemin, K.A. (2018). Invited review: Current perspectives on eating and rumination activity in dairy cows, 101(6), 4762-4784. http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2017-13706

    2018 - View publication details

  10. Chibisa, G.E., Beauchemin, K.A. (2018). Effects of feeding corn silage from short-season hybrids and extending the backgrounding period on production performance and carcass traits of beef cattle, 96(6), 2490-2503. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/sky099

    2018 - View publication details

  11. Legesse, G., Cordeiro, M.R.C., Ominski, K.H., Beauchemin, K.A., Kroebel, R., McGeough, E.J., Pogue, S., McAllister, T.A. (2018). Water use intensity of Canadian beef production in 1981 as compared to 2011, 619-620 1030-1039. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.11.194

    2018 - View publication details

  12. Legesse, G., Kroebel, R., Alemu, A.W., Ominski, K.H., McGeough, E.J., Beauchemin, K.A., Chai, L., Bittman, S., McAllister, T.A. (2018). Effect of changes in management practices and animal performance on ammonia emissions from Canadian beef production in 1981 as compared with 2011, 98(4), 833-844. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjas-2017-0184

    2018 - View publication details

  13. Dong, R., Dong, H., Beauchemin, K.A., Xin, H. (2018). Performance evaluation of manure nitrogen output models suitable for lactating dairy cows in China, 61(5), 1713-1727. http://dx.doi.org/10.13031/trans.12710

    2018 - View publication details

  14. Miorin, R.L., Holtshausen, L., Baron, V., Beauchemin, K.A. (2018). In situ rumen degradation of kernels from short-season corn silage hybrids as affected by processing, 2(4), 428-438. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tas/txy084

    2018 - View publication details

  15. Little, S.M., Benchaar, C., Janzen, H.H., Kröbel, R., McGeough, E.J., Beauchemin, K.A. (2017). Demonstrating the effect of forage source on the carbon footprint of a Canadian dairy farm using whole-systems analysis and the holos model: Alfalfa silage vs. corn silage, 5(4), http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cli5040087

    2017 - View publication details

  16. Alemu, A.W., Janzen, H.H., Little, S., Hao, X.Y., Thompson, D.J., Baron, V., Iwaasa, A., Beauchemin, K.A., Kröbel, R., 2017. Assessment of grazing management on farm greenhouse gas intensity of beef production systems in the Canadian Prairies using life cycle assessment. Agricultural Systems 158, 1-13

    2017 - View publication details

  17. Wang, M., Wang, R., Zhang, X., Ungerfeld, E.M., Long, D., Mao, H., Jiao, J., Beauchemin, K.A., Tan, Z. (2017). Molecular hydrogen generated by elemental magnesium supplementation alters rumen fermentation and microbiota in goats, 118(6), 401-410. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114517002161

    2017 - View publication details

  18. Moate, P.J., Williams, S.R.O., Jacobs, J.L., Hannah, M.C., Beauchemin, K.A., Eckard, R.J., Wales, W.J. (2017). Wheat is more potent than corn or barley for dietary mitigation of enteric methane emissions from dairy cows, 100(9), 7139-7153. http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2016-12482

    2017 - View publication details

  19. Lee, C., Araujo, R.C., Koenig, K.M., Beauchemin, K.A. (2017). In situ and in vitro evaluations of a slow release form of nitrate for ruminants: Nitrate release rate, rumen nitrate metabolism and the production of methane, hydrogen, and nitrous oxide, 231 97-106. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2017.07.005

    2017 - View publication details

  20. Rapid Communication: Evaluation of methane inhibitor 3-nitrooxypropanol and monensin in a high-grain diet using the rumen simulation technique (Rusitec).
    J Anim Sci. 2017 Sep;95(9):4072-4077. doi: 10.2527/jas2017.1896.

    2017 - View publication details

Research facility

5403 1st Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1


2005-2020 Adjunct Professor, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

2005-2020 Adjunct Professor, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

2017-2020 Adjunct Professor, Graduate Faculty, Utah State University, Logan, UT